When the father of Harmony Montgomery, a 7-year-old who was reported missing two years after she was last seen in New Hampshire, was arrested on Tuesday, it shined a light on his disturbing history of alleged violence that included shooting a man in the head during a drug deal gone wrong.
Adam Montgomery, 31, was booked Tuesday evening on an array of charges, including felony second-degree assault in connection with 2019 conduct against his daughter, Harmony, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said. Prosecutors have also charged Montgomery with one misdemeanor charge of interference with custody, and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child pertaining to Harmony.
An arrest affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast outlines a range of horrific allegations against Montgomery, including that he admitted to his uncle, Kevin, that he inflicted a black eye on Harmony in July 2019 just months after child-protective services granted him custody.
“I bashed her around the house,” Montgomery allegedly told Kevin Montgomery, after stating he left Harmony “in charge of watching her infant brother while Adam was in the bathroom.”
Prosecutors allege the abuse was punishment after Harmony’s young brother “started crying” and Harmony was found “holding her hand over the child’s mouth to stop him from crying.”
Kevin Montgomery previously described witnessing the aftermath of abuse—including a black eye—to The Daily Beast. That abuse, he told investigators, included Harmony being spanked “hard on the butt,” being forced “to stand in the corner for hours,” and being ordered “to scrub the toilet with her toothbrush.”
On Wednesday, Montgomery’s arraignment was waived after his bond was settled out of court. In a bail order obtained by The Daily Beast, a judge ordered that he not have any contact with Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, nor with his current wife, Kayla Montgomery. While the bail order does not state whether he had retained an attorney, it noted that he “reserves the right to request a bail hearing at a later date.”
Despite the break in the investigation, it was not clear if any of the charges directly pertained to the disappearance of the child. Police have said that Harmony, then 5 years old, was last seen at a Manchester home after officers answered a service call in Oct. 2019.
But the arrest affidavit provides new details about the weeks leading up to the recently-launched investigation into Harmony’s whereabouts. Prosecutors allege that on Nov. 18, Manchester Police received a call from Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, reporting that her daughter “was missing and that she hadn’t seen [her] in over six months.”
The call prompted a police employee to contact the Division for Children, Youth and Families in New Hampshire (DCYF). The agency was unable to locate Adam Montgomery.
On Dec. 27, DCYF notified police they were also unable to locate Harmony, prompting officials to open an investigation into the 7-year-old. They soon learned from family members that she “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019,” the affidavit states. Among those family members was Sorey, who said she had not seen her daughter since an April 2019 FaceTime call.
“Crystal recalled that [Harmony] seemed frightened,” the affidavit states.
Sorey explained to authorities that she lost custody of Harmony in July 2018 “in part due to a substance-abuse issue.”
“Crystal said that both she and Adam had past issues with substance abuse,” the affidavit says, adding that since she got sober, she had made several unsuccessful attempts to locate Montgomery and Harmony.
For several days, the affidavit states, police spoke to family members in an attempt to locate Harmony–including speaking to Adam Montgomery’s brother, Michael, who also raised concerns about the child.
“Michael recalled during his last physical contact with [Harmony] and Adam, he had concerns that Adam was physically abusive towards [Harmony],” the affidavit states. “Michael recalled Adam was ‘super short’ with the child, and he learned through other family members that Adam had given [Harmony] a black eye.”
Montgomery’s wife, Kayla, also spoke with investigators on New Year’s Eve. During that conversation, the affidavit notes, she said the last time she physically saw Harmony was in November or December of 2019 before heading into work. At that time, Montgomery allegedly told his wife “he was driving [Harmony] back to Crystal,” who was living in Massachusetts.
“Kayla claimed she never saw, or heard about [Harmony] after that day,” the affidavit states, noting she said she had not seen her husband since October 2021. “Kayla admitted that she had seen [Harmony] with a black eye in the past; however, she explained that Adam told her it was caused by one of their other children striking [Harmony] with a toy.”
Attempts to reach Crystal Sorey and Kayla Montgomery for this story on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Kevin Montgomery, the great uncle, previously told The Daily Beast he last saw the child in Oct. 2019, after a situation at the home he once shared with several family members, including the child and her parents.
During the altercation between family members, Montgomery said, Harmony “looked like a scared puppy.” Harmony “was quiet, she wasn’t saying much,” her great uncle added.
When reached early Wednesday for comment about his nephew Adam Montgomery’s arrest, Kevin Montgomery asked for the charges to be read aloud, stating he “just found out right now about the news” and that the suspect’s father—who did not comment—was in the room with him.
“My only concern is Harmony, and from here on out this is the only thing I want to comment about. We just want the courts to do their thing, and we are focused on Harmony,” Kevin Montgomery said.
On Dec. 31, 2021, authorities issued a “missing child” alert after learning of her years-long disappearance and launched an investigation to find the girl, who may be wearing glasses and is blind in her right eye. The affidavit states that on the same day, authorities found Montgomery and a new girlfriend.
Authorities say that, during a roadside conversation, Montgomery “made contradictory statements,” including that Harmony “was fine and that he had seen her somewhere recently” before later admitting he had not seen his daughter since Nov. 2019, when her mother “came to pick her up.” Eventually, the affidavit states, Montgomery “stopped answering questions" and did not “exhibit much emotion or reaction” to hearing that his daughter had not been physically seen in two years.
“If I’m not under arrest, I’m leaving,” Montgomery said during the Dec. 31 conversation, according to the affidavit.
Court documents and local news reports show this is not the first time Montgomery has landed in legal trouble.
In 2014, he was arrested after allegedly shooting a Haverhill, Massachusetts, man in the head during a drug deal. Police said he also sustained a gunshot wound to the arm. In a hospital interview with police, according to documents obtained by WHDH, Montgomery said the shooting occurred during a struggle after the man he was supposed to buy heroin from tried to rob him.
A spokesperson for the Essex District Attorney's Office told The Daily Beast that in Sept. 2014, Montgomery pleaded guilty to several crimes—including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm without a license—in relation to the incident. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Harmony Montgomery was born within months of the shooting.
This past summer, Montgomery was also hit with a complaint for a restraining order by his mother-in-law, Christina Lubin. The complaint, obtained by The Daily Beast, claims that on July 2, 2021, Montgomery was seen “pass[ing] back and forth across the street” of her Manchester home. After calling the police, Lubin said, her partner spoke to a neighbor outside who said that Montgomery had been “tapping on windows” in the front of her home.
Two days after the incident, Lubin claimed, her partner found a “steak knife that was on the ground where Adam Montgomery was tapping on the window.”
“Safety for all involved is our main concern,” the complaint added. But the bid for a restraining order was dismissed this past October. Lubin did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg insisted on Monday the Harmony Montgomery case was still being investigated as a missing persons matter.
“I am in rescue mode right now. This is not a recovery. All efforts are focused on that Harmony is alive… until somebody points to me that proves that she is not. We have to operate under the assumption that she is alive,” Aldenberg said. “Help us find this little girl. Someone knows something. Do what is right and call in. I cannot emphasize this enough. Someone out there knows something.”
In the days since opening the case, police have searched the home Montgomery once lived in with her family, launched a 24-hour tip line, acquired assistance from the FBI, and announced a $43,000 reward for information about Harmony’s whereabouts.
“In keeping with standard protocol, we are assisting the Manchester Police Department with their investigation into the suspicious disappearance of Harmony Montgomery,” an FBI spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Tuesday, noting that Manchester PD was still leading the probe. “We urge anyone with information about Harmony’s current whereabouts to contact law enforcement.”